Incumbent Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins opens CPC campaign office for election

Incumbent Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins, right, speaks with supporters during the opening of his campaign office in Red Deer on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

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Red Deer-Lacombe’s incumbent Conservative Party MP Blaine Calkins is ready to for the 2019 federal election campaign.

On Thursday, Sept. 5, just six days before the writ dropped, he formally opened his campaign office at 4770 Riverside Drive in Red Deer with a grand opening barbecue.

More than 100 supporters were in attendance, clapping and cheering as he gave a small speech, highlighting the area’s struggles over the past four years and promising better, if his party is elected to government.

“For the past four years, we’ve had a Liberal government that simply doesn’t understand Alberta and doesn’t even seem to care to try to. Justin Trudeau has decided  to be  a prime minister that governs for some but not for all and nowhere is that more evident than in our very communities here in central Alberta,” he said.

“There is only one answer to this problem, my friends – together, on Oct. 21, vote in a strong, majority, conservative government.”

He said his party would form a government committed to fiscal responsibility, respect for the rule of law – a dig at Trudeau’s series of ethics scandals – and put more money into Canadians’ pockets so “you can get ahead” which is the basis for the CPC’s campaign slogan.

Calkins promised the Conservatives would scrap the carbon tax, lower personal taxes, take the GST off home heating and make parental benefits tax free. He said two thirds of Canadians feel they can’t adequately make ends meet, and such moves would aim to help them do so.

He also pledged his party would knock down the barriers put up to hinder Alberta’s – and the nation’s  – energy sector, by repealing Bill C-69 and C-48, as well as get rid of “foreign interference,” – a move which recently put the Alberta government at odds with Amnesty International.

“They say the world needs more Canada, but I say Ottawa, needs more Alberta,” he said. “There’s no reason at all why we can’t have good environmental stewardship and responsible energy extraction at the same time – nobody does it better than we do.

“This election is about unity…We should be trading east and west, reducing barriers and taking pride in our country again.”

Calkins, who has now served 13 years as a member of parliament, including nine as the MP for Wetaskiwin, and the past four in Red Deer-Lacombe. He is the chair of the Alberta caucus and was the first chair of the Ethics Committee.

Calkins will run against People’s Party of Canada candidate Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, who ran against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in Burnaby-South; and Green Party candidate Desmond Bull, an elected Louis Bull Tribe councillor in Maskwacis.

No candidates or nomination races have been announced for the Liberal Party of Canada, or the federal NDP.

The election was called Wednesday, Sept. 11, meaning candidates will face a 40-day campaign leading up to the Oct. 21 election date.

The Lacombe Chamber will hold an election forum on Oct. 9 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre at 7 p.m.

The Lacombe Globe will have all your event coverage, including candidate profiles, forum debates and other news throughout the election.

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